The Lions, Bees, Bears, and Otters are four temperaments explored in Dr. Sandra Scantling’s book Extraordinary Sex Now. Previously we explored the structured, disciplined Bees and the whimsical frolicking Otters. And we have also looked in on the take charge Lions. Now let’s look at the loveable supportive Bears.
Bears are stabilizers. No big surprises here. They tend to be thoughtful and contemplative types, often shy and retiring. They’re supportive and calming to those around them. They fear rejection the most and want to be liked, accepted, and appreciated. They are good listeners and non-confrontational, unless backed into a corner; then watch out. Bears can attack if provoked. They also tend to hide their feelings, so you will need to gently coax them out of their den. Quite cautious, Bears avoid risks. They prefer to play it safe, so don’t expect them to respond quickly or to take charge of things. They may procrastinate, waiting for a safe time to proceed.
Here are some helpful hints to keep in mind if you are married to a Bear:
- Be clear about what you want and expect. Bears aren’t mind readers.
- Don’t expect perfection. Bears are ok with good enough – Bees should take note.
- Affirm and praise your Bear for positive efforts – Appreciation is important to them
- Avoid blaming or finding fault. This will drive them into their cave. Bears with hurt feelings stew for a long time.
- Be patient with your Bear. They will come along, but usually later rather than sooner.
- Because they fear rejection, be thoughtful how you bring up things for constructive review.
- Give your Bear space. If they need time to think it over, it will be time well spent.
- Solve tough issues a little at a time, to avoid overwhelming them.
For those of you who identify with being a Bear, here are some things that will be helpful to you:
- Make a concerted effort to understand your partner’s feelings. Practice empathy to see it through your partner’s eyes.
- Listen to your own feelings. This is tough. Reach deep to understand what you are feeling. Then, let your partner know.
- Work at being more assertive. Express what you think. Take a risk.
- Open up and share things about yourself that are personal.
- When you are hurt, be honest and willing to express what has hurt you. Don’t bottle it up.
- Try to be more adventurous. Make the suggestion for what to do on your next date and have some fun. Learn to be a little more Otter-like.
- And finally, it’s OK to say No. Don’t agree to do something and then be angry because you really didn’t want to do it. Be honest in the first place.
Be thankful for your Bear. They will be supportive and loyal to you. Appreciate them and don’t try to make them into a Bee or a Lion or an Otter.
Bear with them as they are.